And Baird also recruits veteran advisors from competitors—roughly one-third of its 700-person force arriving in the last five years. They tend to be high-producers as well, sporting an average production of more than $850,000.
For those who join, there are rewards. Schroeder says that the firm is hoping to be on the Fortune 100 best places to work list for the tenth year in a row.
8. Darryl Traweek
West/South Divisional Director at RBC
Go west, young financial advisor. How far? Southern California. It's a place Darryl Traweek, one of RBC's three regional directors, is keeping his eye on because he's identified it as an attractive market for jet setting Latin American clients. To serve them, he's looking for globetrotting advisors who are equally sophisticated. "Growing and training high quality advisors is a critical initiative," he said. "We have some good domestic individuals, but we're also looking to add international advisors." No wonder. The international business is a good one: the average revenue per advisor who works with US-based investors is $600,000 a year, while the advisors working with overseas investors pull in upwards of $1 million. The company has just hired a team from Morgan Stanley, with roughly $3.5 million in production, which will seed the new San Diego office.
For the last few years, the company has been focusing on large markets where there is a strong Latino presence, including New York City and Miami. There, RBC's advisors work with high net worth clients from Puetro Rico, Peru, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico. Now, Traweek is looking to the western horizon, in cities like Houston, the fourth largest market in the US, where the 42% of the population is Hispanic. There are four offices in Houston now that serve domestic clients, with plans for a new one to serve those from overseas.
Traweek has reached out to the Latino community elsewhere in the Lone Star state, joining the board of the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. In partnership with the university, RBC has formed a lecture series called "Faces of the Americas." The series serves a double purpose, giving both potential clients and recruits a view of RBC's international expertise. Plus, lining up speakers, often from the C-suite across industries, provides an entrĂ©e to female business executives, another coveted audience. "It really helps support our initiative in supporting female executives in business and the investing world," he said. Raising the proportion of women in his advisor ranks up from 12% is another of his major goals over the next few years.
Topics in the lecture series have included the impact of US energy policy changes on Latin America. "We find that by taking education and marrying it with the wealth management business, a lot of individuals are bringing their portfolio to RBC, or considering it for their own careers," he said. "We show them we understand Latin American markets through our association with different corporate leaders that deal in the international arena."
9. Elisse Walter
The new SEC chair
Elisse Walter, the new Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman, has inherited a full plate from her predecessor and good friend Mary Schapiro. Her immediate priorities are finishing the jobs mandated by Congress, including completing drafting dozens of new rules required by 2010's Dodd-Frank law, which seeks to tighten Wall Street regulation. The other task set by Capital Hill is drafting rules for the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act. Made law in April, it aims to make it easier for smaller companies to raise money. One proposed method is by lifting a ban on general solicitation—advertising to the public—that has been around since 1933. The result would mean companies, as well as hedge funds and venture capital funds, could solicit money from investors publicly, rather than through private networks.
And there are other financial reform issues to address, in addition to running an agency that has taken harsh criticism for having fallen down on the job of policing Wall Street prior to the financial crisis of 2008. The agency was also called to the carpet for having been slow to ferret out many financial crimes, including the massive Ponzi scheme run by Bernard Madoff.
Published reports have quoted insiders saying Walter has a very similar mindset to Schapiro, but with more willingness to get tough with Wall Street in terms of both stricter regulations and penalties for infractions. The two have served together for many years, at the SEC, then NASD and its successor organization, FINRA, as well as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.